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Function VF 339
Women's affairs
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Is this the right Function?Is this the right Function?
  • Use this Function for

    Provision of policy advice to the Premier/Minister on issues affecting the status of women
    Monitoring and reviewing policies and programs which impact on women
    Co-ordinating and monitoring the activities of agencies with the view to improve the status of women
    Assisting agencies to enhance service delivery to women
    Co-ordinating Victoria's responses to committees and inter-national agencies on women's issues
    Representation of Victoria on Commonwealth-State committees
    Annual Women's Budget report
    Register of women interested in appointment to government boards and committees
    Liaison with non-government organisations providing services to women
    Examination of the medical and legal problems experienced by victims of rape and other sexual assaults
    Recommendation of public education measures that would reduce the incidence of rape and other sexual offences

  • Do not use this Function for
    The activities and responsibilities of the following agencies and organisations :-

    Women's Health Policy Unit
    Women's Health Unit
    Health Sharing Women
    Ministerial Advisory Committee on Women and Girls (Education)
    Women's Housing Policy Unit
    Victoria Women's Council
    Victorian Women's Consultative Council
    Victorian Women's Advisory Council to the Premier
    Women's Issues Committee (ethnic women)
    Women's Advisory Service
    Women's Advisory Bureau
    Victorian Consultative Council of Women on Leisure and Recreation
    Women's Affairs (rural women)
    Community Council Against Violence

 
Description of this FunctionDescription of this Function
Background

As a function of government, women's affairs appears to have evolved within the Premier's portfolio out of the promotion of equal opportunity under the Equal Opportunity Act 1977 (No.9025) and the provision of advice and information to women through the Community Services Centre, established in 1975.

In 1975 a Community Services Centre was opened by the Premier with an aim to create greater understanding between all members of society and to create equal opportunities for all. In particular, it was intended to provide information on the activities of government departments and instrumentalities, and also to provide a place for the public to put their problems to trained officers. Located within the Premier's Department (VA 2717), the Centre included several bureaux which carried out functions which later developed within the Premier's portfolio. The Anti-Discrimination Bureau preempted the introduction of the Equal Opportunity Act 1977 (No.9025). The Premier was responsible for equal opportunity until 1985 when responsibility passed to the Attorney-General (VRG 19).

An administrative unit responsible for women's affairs was established in April 1978 within the Premier's Department (VA 2717). It appears that the establishment of this unit directly resulted from the introduction of the Equal Opportunity Act 1977 (No.9025) which came into operation between December 1977 and April 1978. The administrative unit took on a broader role than the Women's Advisory Bureau which was part of the Community Services Centre.

The Act made it unlawful to discriminate on the grounds of sex (including sexual harassment) and marital status in the areas of employment, education, accommodation and the provision of goods and services.

The 1980 Victorian Government Directory of Administration and Services included within the Premier's portfolio the following two units:

Co-ordinate Committee on the Status of Women
to report to the Premier in consultation with the Equal Opportunity Advisory Council on matters of concern to women
to promote equality for women
to educate the public re the changing roles of men and women.

Office of Co-ordinator of Women's Affairs
to examine the medical and legal problems experienced by victims of rape and other sexual assaults
to make recommendations re public education measures that would reduce the incidence of rape and other sexual assaults.

From circa 1980 to 1992 the Premier was responsible, through the Co-ordinator of Women's Affairs (see Department of the Premier VA 2717) and its successor the Women's Policy Co-ordination Unit (see Department of the Premier and Cabinet VA 1039), for:

provision of policy advice to the Premier on issues affecting the status of women
monitoring and reviewing policies and programs which impact on women
co-ordinating and monitoring the activities of agencies with a view to improving the status of women
assisting agencies to enhance service delivery to women
co-ordinating Victoria's responses to committees and international agencies on women's issues
representation of Victoria on Commonwealth-State committees
annual Women's Budget report
register of women interested in appointment to government boards and committees
liaison with non-government organisations providing services to women

The Premier has at times also been referred to as the Minister responsible for Women's Affairs although this does not appear to have been a commissioned position. As part of the machinery of government changes introduced in October 1992 the Attorney-General was also commissioned as Minister for Women's Affairs and an Office of Women's Affairs was established within the Department of Justice (VA 3085). This Office is responsible for:
providing advice to the Minister for Women's Affairs, and to the Premier and Cabinet on issues affecting the status of women
monitoring and reviewing policies and programs which impact on women
assisting agencies to enhance service delivery to women
producing the annual Women's Budget report
maintaining the register of women interested in appointment to government boards and committees
providing administrative support to the Victoria Women's Council
representing Victoria on Commonwealth-State committees
liaison with non-government organisations providing services to women.

Since 1999 there has once again been a separate Minister for Womens Affairs with an Office of Womens Policy located in the Department of Premier and Cabinet. Its functions are listed as :

providing strategic policy advice to the Government on issues of concern to women;
coordinating and monitoring government policies and programs which impact on women and their families;
providing information to women and consulting with women and womens organisations;
conducting research and identifying emerging trends and issues on the needs of women and effective methods to address those needs.

 
Related FunctionsRelated Functions
  • Related Functions
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    Function Title Function Number
    Community council against violence VF 333
    Education VF 19
    Equal opportunity VF 59
    Health, public VF 125
    Housing, public VF 174
    Welfare services VF 252
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Other InformationOther Information
 
Agencies with prime responsibility for this FunctionAgencies with prime responsibility for this Function
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Date of Responsibility Agency Title Agency Number
- 1982 Department of the Premier (also known as Premier's Department 1960-1982) VA 2717
1982 - 1992 Department of the Premier and Cabinet VA 1039
1992 - 1999 Department of Justice VA 3085
1999 - 2002 Department of the Premier and Cabinet VA 1039
2002 - 2007 Department for Victorian Communities VA 4562
2007 - 2010 Department of Planning and Community Development VA 4838
2010 - cont Department of Human Services VA 3970
 
Other Agencies responsible for this FunctionOther Agencies responsible for this Function
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